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New women’s sports league seen as degrading

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“Sex sells,” a phrase that could not be any more factual, especially when it comes to the Bikini Basketball League, a basketball league that is following the trend of the Lingerie Football League.

It is more and more common to see sports leagues becoming sexualized. The first was the Lingerie Football League, established in 2009, after the success of the Lingerie Bowls that had happened years prior.

Next, the Bikini Hockey League is an upcoming reality show where the women involved play hockey.

It is no secret that men like to look at attractive women. However, some believe that the women involved are being objectified to get men to watch.

There have been other examples that make sex appeal and sports go together. The Showtime Network showed models from “Perfect 10” magazine boxing. The program showed these models boxing and presented it as a legitimate competition, though it was unclear whether it was legitimate or if it was staged.

There is one legitimate sport that involves half-naked women: women’s beach volleyball. Men watch it for the attire or lack thereof. There is no denying it. The female athletes wear bikinis but the sport is still considered to be a real sport, enough to be in the Olympics. Even though they covered more of their bodies this year, they dressed scantily all the way through back in the 2004 Athens games, as well as the 2008 Beijing games.

As a man, I don’t disagree with the appeal in these sports leagues. The Lingerie Football League has been going on for three years and they definitely have an audience. Bikini Hockey and the Bikini Basketball will follow suit.

Many believe that these sports leagues will demean women. I don’t agree with it. Yes, the women are scantily clad. Yes, there is a lot of sex appeal involved. It is obvious that the women are just out there to flaunt their bodies and just “play a sport,” even though the viewers will watch it just to look at the women playing. Sure one can argue that they are demeaned, but if the women take part in it, then they would have no problem flaunting their bodies and going along with the sexualized nature of the game.

Do I find these sports leagues degrading? In some ways, I can agree with some people who feel that they are, but in other ways, I see these sports as just ways to draw male viewers. In one perspective, I can see that they might be a little degrading, but at the same time, they are just out there to entertain the male masses. I am in the middle in this case.

Women’s beach volleyball is no gimmick, but while the Olympics were going on, many people objected to the female athletes’ attires, saying that it’s a double standard how the women wear little whereas the male athletes involved in beach volleyball wear more than the women. However, women’s beach volleyball players have said so themselves that they do not have a problem with wearing bikinis during a game. Even though they wore a little more during the London summer games, they dressed more scantily more than halfway through the competition.

Are these sports (or gimmicks) degrading? One might think so, but if they really want to know how the people involved, maybe the person should ask one of the athletes themselves

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Emanuel Espinoza, Staff

Staff member, fall 2014, fall 2013 & fall 2012.

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New women’s sports league seen as degrading